Macmillan and Cwm Taf work together to plan new £6.75m specialist care unit
Macmillan Cancer Support and Cwm Taf University Health Board are planning to build a new £6.75m specialist care unit near Llantrisant.
The charity and the health board have applied for planning permission to develop the state-of-the-art unit at Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
If the plans are approved, Macmillan would contribute £5m towards the unit making it their biggest single investment in Wales.
The specialist eight-bed unit would provide inpatient, outpatient and day palliative care and support for people with incurable cancer and other conditions.
Palliative care for cancer patients in the Rhondda is currently provided at Y Bwthyn Pontypridd Cottage Hospital.
Although the quality of care at Y Bwthyn is known to be excellent, its location means that patients need to be transferred to Royal Glamorgan Hospital to access specialist tests and treatments, which can be difficult and distressing.
Similarly, some patients who go to Royal Glamorgan Hospital may benefit from being in a palliative care environment, but are too unwell to be transferred to Y Bwthyn.
Dr Ian Back, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: “A new state-of-the-art specialist unit would provide patients with the high-quality care they need in a comfortable environment for both them and their loved ones.
“Building the new unit at Royal Glamorgan Hospital will also ensure that patients have access to specialist tests and treatment more easily without the need for unnecessary transfers between hospitals when they are often too unwell.”
Susan Morris, Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “We are pleased to be working with Cwm Taf University Health Board on this proposed unit, which we believe would help people to receive palliative care more easily in a comfortable environment.
“After extensive consultation with staff and patients, the unit would be designed using Macmillan’s expertise and understanding of the needs of people with cancer and their families, including a kitchen and communal areas where they can spend time together.
“If the plans are approved, it will be Macmillan’s biggest single investment in Wales, which we can only fund thanks to the public’s generosity and support.”
John Palmer, Director of Primary, Community and Mental Health Services at Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “We are delighted to continue to build on our excellent relationship with Macmillan Cancer Support. The plan is for this unit to have a world-class addition to our rapidly developing palliative care service.”
If the plans are approved, work would be expected to start later this year with the centre projected to open in late 2018 or early 2019.